Barcelona have been fined a mere 300 euros ($328) after the Spanish Football Federation (RFEF) found the club guilty of tapping up Antoine Griezmann last season while he was still attached to Atletico Madrid. Barca signed Griezmann after paying his 120-million-euro buyout clause in July, prompting Atletico to claim the Catalan club had negotiated with the Frenchman without their permission. The RFEF published its decision on Thursday, in which it said Barcelona were guilty of holding talks with Griezmann but insisted it was not possible to prove a formal contract was signed.
The RFEF also acknowledged the insignificance of the fine, which represents only 0.000045 percent of Barcelona’s 671.42 million-euro salary budget this season.
The RFEF’s statement read: “Taking into account the economic capacity of the club and the amount of the fine, this committee is aware that the payment of 300 euros, beyond its merely symbolic character, will not damage the sanctioned club and, probably, will not persuade other clubs in the same situation in the future to adjust their conduct to the regulations.”
But the RFEF said that was “not a sufficient reason” to impose the other possible sanction of closing Camp Nou for a match, which it says would be to punish “infractions of a different nature”.
Barcelona had come close to signing Griezmann in 2018, only for the striker to decide to stay and sign a new contract at Atletico Madrid.
But Griezmann announced his decision to leave Atletico in May, explaining that he wanted to seek a new challenge away from the club where he had spent five successful seasons.
The RFEF said Barcelona “initiated and maintained negotiations with the player without prior written notice to Atletico Madrid”.
But concluded that “it has not been demonstrated that the contract between Antoine Griezmann and Barcelona was formally signed”.
The statement added that the decision “attaches no disciplinary responsibility whatsoever to the player”.
Griezmann has played seven times so far this season for Barcelona and scored three goals.